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By William Isau
SIBU, Feb 21: An old shophouse at Raminway has become a star attraction after its wall was painted with a mural by local artist, Aries Kong.
Kong who is well known by his nickname “Jagung” completed the first part of the mural early this month.
The mural depicting a comic scene in black and white is on the back wall of the shophouse.
The idea came from Raminway Recreation Club president Richard Lee who wanted to inject life into the area, while preserving the building’s original architecture.
Assistant Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government, Michael Tiang who inaugurated the painting today was so impressed with it that he now wants the back portion of seven blocks of shophouses in the area to be painted with murals too.
This move, he said, will promote greater domestic tourism.
Tiang said he together with Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Bawang Assan chairman Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew and Pristine House & Harta-Maintenance Sdn Bhd, had agreed to be the main sponsors for this project.
“Because these are old buildings which cannot yet be considered as heritage buildings, many owners want to either demolish or upgrade their buildings, thus obliterating the nostalgic elements of old buildings in Sibu. However, Lee managed to impress me with his idea to beautify the area. I like his vision to breathe new life into the old buildings here without demolishing or upgrading the buildings,” said Tiang.
He said the first part of the mural for the project which cost RM40,000 was an initial overview of the entire project which is expected to be completed this year.
“So, I congratulate Lee for successfully completing a comic concept mural on the back wall of their building at Raminway here which is the first part of this project. For the other part maybe we will invite other painters, so we will have murals of various designs and styles,” he said.
Tiang said he would try to apply for funds from the Sarawak Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts for the murals for the remaining building blocks.
“I have met with some of the owners of the building and they welcomed the project,’ he said.
The Pelawan assemblyman said in view of this, there is a need for support from the Sarawak Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts under the leadership of Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah to transform this area. — DayakDaily